Simon Olver spent approximately £238,000 of the stolen money on watches, jewellery, upgraded flights and deposits on an Aston Martin and Maclaren sports car. He had also made an offer for a house in Kingswood for £2.6m.
An investigation was launched by the Fraud Squad following a referral from the bank Olver worked at, where he was the head of finance, accounting, reporting and tax. He had been in the role for just under a year when he submitted the first of the two fraudulent payment requests.
This payment request was made out to be a payment of £479,044 to HMRC to settle an outstanding corporation tax bill for 2017. However, Olver entered his own bank account details in place of HMRC’s details, naming his account ‘HMRC Cumbernauld’.
Once the payment had been authorised, he sent the payment request to the settlements team to process it and release the funds.
Two weeks later, Olver submitted another payment request worth £2,477,122. Again, it was made out to appear as if it was being paid to HMRC to settle an outstanding corporation tax bill.
Following these payments, Olver’s bank informed his employer of the two payments into his account. The Fraud Squad was notified and on the same day, Olver was arrested.
It was also discovered that he copied his manager’s signature and intend to submit a third payment worth £1,550,000 on the day of his arrest.
Olver pleaded guilty to two charges of fraud by abuse of position and one charge of creating articles for use in fraud. He said he was under stress and struggled with debt and used the fraud to rectify his situation.
On Thursday 25 June, appearing at Southwark Crown Court, Olver was sentenced to four and a half years imprisonment.
Detective constable Richard Cole, who led the investigation for the City of London Police’s Fraud Squad, said: “Olver betrayed the trust of his employer and used his position to steal nearly £3m pounds. Despite claiming in his interview that he needed the money for debt payments, it’s evident that he also used it to enjoy a luxury lifestyle, purchasing expensive items such as watches and jewellery.
“He must now pay the price for his actions, both with the sentence handed down by the court, but also with the loss of his job and reputation.”
Sarah Place of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), said: “Simon Olver seriously abused his position of trust which impacted on his employers, his colleagues and those close to him. Olver used the money he took to spend lavishly on expensive cars, holidays and designer jewellery. Faced with a wealth of evidence, which showed he had requested the transfer of company money to his own bank account under false pretences, he had to admit his wrongdoing.
“In addition to the sentence of four and a half years imprisonment imposed on him, the CPS will now take steps to recover the monies fraudulently taken through Mr Olver’s dishonest actions.”